The Great Winter Get Together is a month long series of activities run by the Jo Cox Foundation, lasting from 14th December 2020 to 18th January 2021. Taking forward Jo Cox’s vision of a “less lonely, more connected world”, the series of five themes are all about tackling loneliness one connection at a time.
Say Thanks is about shining a light on local heroes who have helped people throughout the coronavirus pandemic. There are postcards you can download, print and send to let those people know just how much they are appreciated, and images for sharing on social media.
More than ever before we need to support one another. This week is about encouraging people to connect with someone they’ve lost touch with, whether it’s an old friend or ex-colleague. If you’re not sure where to start, there’s a toolkit to help you with ideas.
Acts of kindness go a long way to showing someone you care. This is about bringing a smile to someone’s face, which can also make us feel good about ourselves. There’s a downloadable Kindness Calendar for each day of the week, with suggestions on things you can do to give someone a lift or contribute to making a kinder, more giving society.
Understand Loneliness – 4th January to 10th January
The changes many of us have experienced during the last year have been difficult, resulting in increased loneliness for many people in our communities. Loneliness has had an impact on our mental health and wellbeing. In partnership with the Marmalade Trust, a charity dedicated to raising awareness about loneliness, the foundation have produced a toolkit to help improve our understanding.
Volunteering is a great way to help support the most vulnerable in our community. Help Out is about finding out what you can give, whether that’s an hour, an evening or more, it all helps. Help Out is supported by the Royal Voluntary Service and there’s a toolkit to help you figure out how you can help this winter.
The Coronavirus Emergency Fund is reopen for applications. Grants are available from the One Community Foundation for a period up to March 31st 2021 – you must be able to spend your grant during this time.
One Community Foundation understands the impact that the Coronavirus is having on communities. With this in mind, the Foundation and their donors have come together to provide a response. They are keen to make sure that the organisations helping those most affected get the support that they need, so have reopened the Coronavirus Emergency Fund in partnership with NET (National Emergencies Trust).
How much can you apply for?
£5,000 for charitable organisations
£10,000 for Hubs or Anchor organisations (including those supporting mutual aid groups).
You must be able to spend all of your grant by March 2021.
Who can apply?
Voluntary and community organisations, including:
registered charities, including charitable incorporated organisations
constituted organisations and non-registered charities
community interest companies and community benefit societies
parish and town councils
Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs)
Churches and faith organisations
What can be funded?
The cost of food and hygiene products, delivery costs, for example, petrol, PPE and additional cleaning costs, volunteer costs responding to the effects of the crisis, staffing cost relating to the project, equipment costs etc. You can find the latest info and guidelines on the One Community website:
A new 24 hour mental health helpline has been launched, offering confidential help and advice to anyone registered with a GP in Kirklees or in neighbouring councils.
We know that many of you are concerned about the wellbeing of your neighbours, friends and those who are more vulnerable in our communities. We’re also aware that you’re doing an awful lot to support each other. This helpline could be a great way to get support for those who need it.
Mental Health Helpline – 0800 183 0558
Mental Health training
There is also some free training available to support you with talking about mental health, delivered by the Zero Suicide Alliance and Future Learn.
Zero Suicide Alliance offer a session called ‘Stepping up’ – this covers the impact of isolation on wellbeing, dealing with our ever-changing circumstances, the impact of social connectivity, signs of poor wellbeing, how to communicate and how to look after yourself.
Community Voices is about hearing the views of residents, especially those who are seldom heard, specifically in relation to health.
Did you know that the NHS has a duty to involve local communities when health service changes are being considered? Did you know that local voluntary or community organisations can train for free to get the knowledge and skills to carry out accredited engagement and consultation work locally?
The Community Voices programme supports voluntary and community organisations with training for their staff or volunteers to become an accredited ‘Community Voice’ and then seek the views of the organisation’s members to inform health service changes. Local groups and organisations are really well placed to help residents have a voice.
Once the accredited training has been completed, groups can earn money for their local voluntary or community organisation for each survey completed. Accreditation lasts for 12 months, at which point a refresher course needs to be taken.
The free training to help groups to become Community Voices has 5 elements:
Understanding how the NHS Works
Legal and Statutory Duties of the NHS
Methods and Approaches to Engagement and Consultation
A Practical Task
Equalities, safeguarding and review and evaluation
The next virtual Community Voices training runs on the following dates:
Session 1: Wednesday 20th January 2021
Session 2: Wednesday 27th January 2021
Session 3: Wednesday 3rd February 2021
Session 4: Wednesday 10th March 2021
All sessions are held online through Zoom and last from 10am to 12 noon. Participants need to be able to commit to attending all four sessions.
If you are interested or want more information please email email@example.com or contact Laura Beesley on 07535 184368.
S2R are offering a basic Mental Health Awareness training session free of charge via Zoom on Friday 27th November 2020 from 9am to 11am. This is for anyone who is a Mutual Aid Group volunteer in Kirklees.
By the end of the session you will be able to:
Understand the difference between mental health and mental illness
Know the main signs and symptoms of the most common mental illnesses
Understand the relationship between wellbeing and emotional resilience
S2R have also created 12 Wellbeing packs – these are all available for volunteers to use and share with people who may be self-isolating or who are lonely and might be struggling with depression and anxiety.
As you are supporting friends, neighbours and communities throughout the community response to Covid-19 we know that many of you will come across people and families in need of financial support.
There are many support services and organisations across Kirklees who can respond to this need, such as the Local Welfare Provision team, local hardship funds or Third Sector Leaders Kirklees.
If you are supporting someone (or know someone) who is in financial difficulty as a result of Covid-19, we recommend that you inform your local Anchor Organisation about this and ask for help.
Your Anchor Organisation should be aware of local hardship funds and how to access them. If a specific circumstance is particularly difficult, they will also be well placed to ask for help or find support where necessary.
You could also consider making a referral through the Covid-19 Community Response helpline. This should help to identify any additional support needs.
There is also financial support available through Third Sector Leaders Kirklees. You can find out more about this by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or speak to your Anchor Organisation.
This guide is a reminder of some of the important things that carers are still allowed to do during the national lockdown.
Unpaid carers have always performed a vital role and that network of support around a person is more important now than ever. But, with a changing situation it can be difficult for carers to feel confident about what they are (and are not) allowed to do.
If you’re a carer or know someone who is, this guide could be very useful. Key things to know are:
You can be a carer and provide support to a vulnerable person, even if they live in a different household or you are not in a support bubble together. You can still go to the home of the person you provide care for, to support them.
Where you can, maintain social distancing.
Often, it isn’t possible to maintain social distancing when providing care support. You should still do what you can to limit close contact as much as possible and take other precautions such as washing hands and opening windows for ventilation.
The guide explains everything that carers need to know:
If you’re not able to connect with people due to social isolation, or are feeling lonely or worried about yourself, the person you care for, your work, or anything else, please do contact Carers Count.
The Wellness Service at Kirklees Council helps people to live healthier, happier lives and supports people to feel more able to look after themselves. They have a range of support services, all free of charge.
Get support with:
Improving mental wellbeing
Improving physical wellbeing
Steps for life and active for life
Support for carers
Connect to local groups
If you or someone you know might benefit from one of these services, now is the time to act.
As with many services the Wellness Service is currently restricted from providing the usual support sessions, but they are still open and ready to support adults 18 years+.
They are holding one to one consultations by phone appointment and these can be arranged by telephone or by completing the referral form.
Being able to provide help, guidance and information for mums-to-be is at the very heart of what volunteers at Auntie Pam’s do. They believe that the health and happiness of pregnant women is just as important as the baby’s, which is why they are here to help every step of the way.
Of course, during lockdown appropriate safety measures need to be in place, which means that the usual Auntie Pam’s venues in Dewsbury and Huddersfield can’t open at this time.
Help and support is still available though and local women can contact the amazing Auntie Pam’s volunteers via telephone, email and social media.
If you know anyone who might need support, a kindly ear or guidance, Auntie Pam’s is a good place to start.